The Secrets of Eternal Youth

Last month, I posted this photo on Instagram:

Alex Marshall on Instagram

and the comments started to flow:

Now, I recognise that I have REALLY KIND friends and followers but this is something I am told a lot - I don't look my age. 

I think this is a nice thing but I have no frame of reference here. I mean, I look like me, does that ever mean a number? I think of all my friends as the same 'age range' as me (which can be anything from 24 to 44) so I can't really guess ages very well from appearances, never mind judge my own. 

I always say thank you when people say something along these lines (for the record, the youngest I've been mistaken for this year is 27, that's a NINE YEAR age difference) as I was raised to always graciously accept a compliment but it's also weird when it's something that you feel that you have no impact on. Granted, this could just be because of my lifestyle, but I don't put masses of effort in to keeping looking like I'm swanning around in my late twenties.

Love Life Lexi
The many stages of me; from 0 to 26

With that in mind, I'm going to share my secrets with you. Well, I say secrets; some are common sense, some are just 'me' things are some are just the genetic code I was dealt (thanks mum!).

Get Yourself a Skin Care Routine

This can be whatever your budget and your skin dictates. I used the Clinique 3-step when I was in my early twenties but my skin seemed to change as I got older. My skin has been through so many stages;  it was oily when I was a teenager, it was bone dry in my early twenties, it got really sensitive in my late twenties and now it's a little dry and sensitive but not a major problem anymore.  I use a Soap & Glory Face wash a couple of times a week if I feel like my skin needs a super deep clean but most days, every morning & bedtime, I wash my face with warm water and I apply Olay moisturiser. Any eye make up is removed with Micellar Water and that's it.  Cheap & cheerful! Whatever is right for your skin is the way forward, do not believe that more expensive is necessarily better. 

A Skincare Routine
My kinda 3-step!

No Sunbathing Without SPF (but preferably no sunbathing)

It's no secret that excessive skin exposure ages the skin (and that's the best of the bad bunch of things it does) so I'm a massive sunscreen fangirl. My moisturiser has it in and you won't catch me out on a summer day without it. I'm not saying sun is evil; it's not as I need Vitamin D as much as the next person, what I'm saying is that I don't sit out in it, I seek shade, I cover up and I hose myself down in P20 before leaving the house. It's worth noting I'm also blonde, pale and of Irish-English descent, generally that doesn't make for a 'healthy glow' tan situation. I just burn bright pink and then fade back to white.

P20 Factor 50+

Drink Water (lots of it)

I eat a pretty balanced diet (spinach then chocolate, right?) and I drink a lot of water. Like, A LOT. My average is 3 litres per day but I can easily do 4 litres on hot days. I don't think anything clears skin like lots of water flushing the shit out of your system and allowing your liver and kidneys to do their detox magic. I love a green smoothie too, and I definitely get a green smoothie 'glow' when I have them daily but water is great and it's inexpensive, especially if you're like me and not very precious about the source, the majority of my water comes from the tap.

Drink More Water!
Even my choices of water to demonstrate my point is Northern  *sigh*

Sleep like a Disney Princess

Hey, you know what I love? Sleep. I mean I proper love the stuff. I cannot get enough of it. I have a good sleep routine; I go to bed and wake up at pretty much the same time every day, I don't use an alarm (I rely on light to wake me, I use a sunrise simulator clock), there's no tv in my bedroom, my bedding is light, I sleep in something minimal and I generally wake up feeling refreshed every day (unless lots of gin has been involved). Beauty sleep is a real thing, not just me being cute. So when I say 'off for my beauty sleep, Twitter, goodnight!' I'm not taking the piss. Get a good routine and stick with it. Learn the art of disco naps too (they're the ones you have for an hour at 5pm if you're going out for a late one that night, it's like banking an hour of beauty sleep before the partying starts). 

Care Bears Need Beauty Sleep Too
Care Bears need beauty sleep too, you know. How else do you think they always look so cute? 

Learn What Your Skin Loves & Hates

Not only is my skin a little dry, it's also sensitive to beauty products so I have to be very careful when it comes to make-up. I have my favourites and I stick to them. I'm also not a great fan of putting things on my skin; I don't like foundation so I don't wear it. I use a little concealer around my eyes (primer first, of course) and have a sweep with pressed powder if I'm overly shiny that day and that's it (all my money, time and effort goes on eyeliner and mascara). My skin likes to breathe and if I suffocate it with products it rebels and I have break outs. I can't be bothered to deal with that so I'd rather not wear any and just leave my skin be. I think it looks fine without it anyway. Be careful of what you put on your skin and if you're wearing foundation daily and having break outs, STOP WEARING IT. So what if you look a bit blotchy for a couple of days? Your skin will get better in time and you break the bad skin cycle. 

What's in my make up bag? blog
I should have shares in YSL, their mascara is the BOMB

Be Genetically Blessed

I've been blessed with some good genetics courtesy of my mum, who looks much younger than her years (and would look even younger if she hadn't spent winters on bloody sunbeds, or cancer boxes, as I like to call them) so I cannot take credit for this. It's just all mine! To counteract my smugness, nature dealt me a dairy protein allergy as I got older, which has various impacts on my immune system and bodily functions when it gets irritated. I can sneak a little into my diet every now and then with no adverse health consequences but I do get skin break outs from it, so it's not always worth it. (unless you're in Italy and you're sneaking gelato). Eh, you can't have everything, can you?

Okay, I don't have the secrets to eternal youth but I do have some good routines and habits in place which have meant that I'm mistaken for a young 'un on a frequent basis. I still get the odd spot every now and then, I'm still human after all, but as long as you look after your skin it will last you a lifetime and even snag you the odd compliment every now and then. 

Love Life Lexi
Ahhhhh, so youthful. Don't look in my attic. 

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